By Joshua Lee
That's right, kids. Once again, it's time to put the medicine away and face the ugly (and sometimes not-so-ugly) marijuana news. Hold on to your asses.
Canadian Safety Minister Criticizes Border Policy
Last week, Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale called the American practice of permanently banning Canadians who have admitted to using marijuana in the past a “ridiculous situation.” This was in response to the case of Matthew Harvey—a Canadian citizen who works in the legal Canadian marijuana industry—who was banned from entering the US in 2014 after telling customs agents that he had illegally consumed cannabis in the years prior to receiving his medical card. If Harvey ever wants to enter the US again, he has to pay nearly $600 (US) to apply for an “advanced permission permit,” a travel waiver that's given on a discretionary basis and can have an expiration date that ranges from one to five years, dependent on the approving officer's choice. This “ludicrous situation,” as Goodale called it, comes from an immigration law that prohibits entry to anyone who admits to having violated the drug policies of their own country. Goodale went on to tell CBC News that the Canadian government needed to discuss the situation with US border agencies, and pointed out that there are “certain ironies” involved in the situation. "In Canada we're moving in an orderly way to a new regime that will include tight restrictions and regulation, and taxation, and at the end of the day will be more effective in keeping marijuana out of the hands of our kids,” he said. Last April, Canadian Health Minister Jane Philpott told the U.N. that Canada plans to legalize pot by the spring of 2017.
Last week, Department of Defense Secretary Ash Carter spoke to an audience of tech experts at the “TechCrunch Disrupt 2016” innovation and technology conference in San Francisco. The address was part of a DOD effort to attract a new generation of techies to work for the military. Oddly enough, when asked about whether or not they plan on turning down employees who can't pass a drug test, Carter responded, “It's a very good question, and we're changing that in recognition of the fact that time's changing. Generations change—and by the way laws change as respecting marijuana and so forth. And that in many other ways, we need to—while protecting ourselves and doing the appropriate things to make sure that it's safe to entrust information with people—we need to understand, and we do, the way people are—have—lives have changed. Not hold against them things that they've done when they were younger. And so it's an important question, and the answer is yes, we can be flexible in that regard. And we need to.”
New Mexico's largest medical marijuana distributor, Ultra Health, was kicked out of the State Fair for displaying a four-foot-tall cannabis plant named “Dorothy” at their booth. Leonard Salgado, Ultra Health's vice president for business development, told KOB4 that the plant was included in plans given to fair organizers when the application was made. He says there were even pictures. Nevertheless, fair officials made them tear down the booth and leave the premises. State officials later confirmed that Ultra Health had been asked to leave for violating their contract, which prohibits drug-related merchandise and paraphernalia. The Department of Health is reportedly investigating the incident, and plan on taking disciplinary action, which could include rescinding their license. Bad news for Ultra Health, who just last week made headlines for allowing a local rap artist to film a music video in one of their greenhouses, prompting authorities from the state's Medical Cannabis Program to question the company's security procedures.
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